Solid Sand

a project by Milena Kling

category collectible design town Berlin


Solid Sand is a limited edition of poetic objects, concretions of sand and light in which surfaces alternate in an unexpected and iridescent interplay of planes, textures and reflections. We interviewed designer Milena Kling about her project, her relationship with glass, and her approach to design.

5VIE: In this research project, glass transmutes from its rawest form – sand – to pure light, in some sort of alchemical process. What was your inspiration? How will you develop this concept further?

MK: The new limited Edition Solid Sand is a research into the origin of glass making and the tradition of sand casting. Fluid hot glass is poured into wild sand, imprinting its rough, crumbly textures to crystalize into a solid block of sand. Cut open, the individual solids reveal their insides, reflecting on the multiple landscapes captured within. 

We have launched this Limited Edition as a set of 5 Individuals. I would love to create other site specific Editions with wild sand from all over the world. 

5VIE: How was your fascination with glass born? What’s that resonates with you of this material?

MK: Glass is magic! From the first time I witnessed the creation from fluid matter blown into crystalized volumes i was hooked. Since 2012 I experiment with glass and every time I work on new objects  together with my wonderful glass masters, the transformative quality of glass surprises me.

5VIE: Everyone has their own creative process, there are those who think with their hands, those who think with words, those who have to draw... your approach seems very much related to physicality, to the manipulation of matter, which allows you to discover forms, lights and textures otherwise unimaginable. What is this process of creation like for you?

MK: Yes I think you are right. The physical moment of creation is truly important to my work. Like a choreograph who carefully prepares and eventually simply whitnesses how every aspect comes together in the unique moment of play. A lot of thinking, with my hands, with words and with a pen leads up to this moment. Working with glass is special It extremely hot and fast. Each piece must be immediately taken to the annealer to cool down over night or for a few days. Only afterwards the piece can be touched and looked at from all angles. I feel that this is a moment when I also love to use my camera to think about the object and to capture the special atmosphere created by the object.

5VIE: In the collaboration between a designer and a craftsman, there is always an exchange, a transmission of values and vision. Can you tell us about your relationship with craftsmanship?

MK: I truly admire to work with my glass masters the ones that blow my pieces and the ones that work in the cold workshop polishing, grinding and finishing my work. I could not do my work without them. Many of them work in glass longer than I am even born, So combining my experimental ideas and skills as a designer, to imagine and create new processes and concepts together with their incredible traditional skills of craft and push to new grounds is very satisfying.


5VIE: We got in touch in 2022, you participated with the Matter Of Course collective in the exhibition "Ich und Du" curated by Anava Projects, in the 5VIE district. It was a wonderful experience of sharing and collaboration. Can you tell us more about the collective? How did it come into being? And what was the need and also the added value of an all-female collective?

MK: MATTER Of COURSE is a collective recently founded by eleven female designers with individual studios in Berlin. We operate in the dynamic intersection of design, art, and handcraft, priding ourselves on many years of experience, a shared work ethic, and the determination to break new ground. We strongly believe that mutual support and interdisciplinary exchanges will pave the way to our future success. It is only when we act as a community that we can grow and actively drive the design world’s urgently-needed change in values. We see MATTER Of COURSE as an experimental and vibrant platform for innovative ideas and fresh inspiration, which allows us to build strong alliances with like-minded peers from different disciplines. We believe in the power of collaboration; we want to consider and develop our practice within a supportive network. Our approach is exploratory and open-ended. In this way, new ideas can grow organically.

Milena Kling

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Milena Kling


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